Best Practices

ZAMSURECO-I Customer Care Call Center (Z-4Cs)

It is given that customers will always make a call or send messages anytime of the day to satisfy their service requirements like filing complaints, report incidences, information requests, among others. Customers have become more demanding, expecting that their issues and concerns will be solved instantly, which requires electric cooperatives like ZAMSURECO-I to immediately respond to customers’ demand.

Being customer-centric, it is therefore imperative for the ZAMSURECO-I to pursue an ICT-based initiative that will enable the Cooperative to effectively and efficiently meet and satisfy said customer requirements.

One of the major ICT-based innovations that the ZAMSURECO-I has pursued is the establishment of the ZAMSURECO-I Customer Care Call Center (Z-4Cs).  The Z-4Cs is an ICT-based 24/7 customer service program, which serves as first point of contact for customers who will lodge complaints, report incidences, request services, and queries, among others.

For the ZAMSURECO-I, the Z-4Cs is the customers’ link to our business—for questions, suggestions, request for services, or complaints. It is where the Cooperative’s customers get essential pieces of information about the Cooperative’s services —application requirements, reading/billing inquiries, brownouts and maintenance schedule, fees, rates, etc. It is also where customers seek technical or customer support. Further, the Z-4Cs is where customers are able to voice out their feedback on the quality of services delivered by the ZAMSURECO-I. Thus, the Z-4Cs is a potent tool and avenue to know from the public on what they have to say about the Cooperative’s products and services.

The Z-4Cs is manned by trained and professional Customer Relations Officer (CRO), who will serve as the “bridge,” connecting customers with the ZAMSURECO-I.  The CRO receives customer inquiries, type reports through CIMS, and handle phone calls from irate or dissatisfied customers and respond courteously and promptly with customers’ who need specific information and services, and coordinates with concerned personnel/units of the ZAMSURECO-I for immediate action. 

The Z-4Cs maximizes the use existing ZAMSURECO-I communications network (i.e., Cellular network, Telephone network, Wireless Communications System including towers, PBX, and Trunk Radio System) and IT-network infrastructure (i.e., IBM/Alcatel servers, Wide Area Network, Magic V.9 platform, website, web mail, computer hardware, etc.) as well as its existing Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) facility to suit to the requirements of the Z-4Cs. 

The primary framework therefore of the Z-C4s is the utilization of all ICT-related infrastructure assets as well as the enhancement of some IP-network hardware (through the procurement of IP phones, digital phones, and other accessories) into a single interconnected and/or integrated network, which now becomes the Z-4Cs.

Also, the Z-4Cs is linked with the Cooperative’s Consumer Information Management System (CIMS), which features an extensive complaints tracking and other customer service-related programs for fast action, enabling the ZAMSURECO-I to capture all complaints, requests, and other transactions in the Z-4Cs and be stored and retrieved in the Cooperative’s database.  Actions made on all complaints/requests and other service requirements of customers upon entry in the CIMS database are monitored. Any time of the day, a report can be generated by management on all transactions of the Z-4Cs as well as the actions made on concerns of customers. 

One of the significant value added feature of the Z-4Cs is that the interconnected and/or integrated ICT-infrastructure, enables all ZAMSURECO-I Area Offices (Area 1 & 3) as well as On-line Bayad Centers to be effectively and efficiently linked with the ZAMSURECO-I Central Office, utilizing the existing VOIP network facility. The linking of all ZAMSURECO-I Area Offices with the Central Office allows real-time communications between and among offices. This means that Area Offices could already receive up-to-date information, and enables faster communication dissemination on matters pertaining to Coop operations, NEA policy updates, among others thus, resulting in enhanced operational productivity/efficiency. 

The use of VOIP technology allows transmitting voice telephony conversations over data networks (Internet) rather than the traditional telephony networks between and among ZAMSURECO-I Area Offices and Bayad Centers. The use of VOIP technology is highly cost-efficient considering that inter-office calls are all “local” calls, which is toll free.

The Z-4Cs is already operational and hiring and training of customer relations officers is on-going. Official launching of the Z-4Cs is targeted in April 2013.

Full Implementation of Consumer Information Management System (CIMS)

The CIMS is a disruptive type of ICT-based innovation introduced and made fully functional/operational by the ZAMSURECO-I in 2011 to radically change its internal business processes.

The CIMS is a disruptive type of innovation as regards its utilization and application to the ZAMSURECO-I since it entirely replaced the legacy and/or traditional business process of dealing with customers, which is characterized as old and manual-based, inefficient, costly, slow, and inappropriate to the strict demands of the new power industry environment. It is noteworthy to mention that the ZAMSURECO-I has pioneered the introduction and utilization of this innovation among electric cooperatives in the country.  

 The ZAMSURECO-I’s CIMS is a fully customized and specialized ICT-based application that integrates all internal business processes covering a whole range of transactions and/or dealings of the Cooperative to its customers. The CIMS is a one-stop-shop fully-automated/computerized multi-function system covering the following transactions, to wit:

  • Electric service application up to service connection;
  • Computerization of customers’ master list (i.e., updating and sanitation of customer profile);   
  •  Reconnection of electric service connection;
  • Voluntary Disconnection of electric service connection;
  • Change Meter transactions;
  • Relocation of Meter (same address);
  • Transfer of Meter (different address);
  • Change Customer Record;
  • Transformer Testing;
  • Transformer Banking and De-banking;
  •  Transformer Rental (mobile, Rent-to-own, Rental);
  • GE Kwh Meter Programming;
  • Meter Seal Replacement;
  •  Customer Requests/Complaints;
  •   Payment of Fees and charges;
  •  Service Application Tracking (approved, pending, denied, un-acted);
  • Tracking of acted and un-acted customer requests and complaints;
  •  Monitoring and Control of Materials, Transformers and Meters

 Moreover, the CIMS has tremendously enhanced internal control systems, enabling effective monitoring of materials/supplies requisitions/withdrawal and liquidations.

One of the special features of the CIMS that is extremely useful to management in its function to track the performance and productivity of all personnel, who are users of the system. The system has a built in feature (time counter), which enables management to measure the amount of time a certain transaction (e.g., processing of application, line inspection, meter installation and inspection, service dropping connection, etc.) is being performed by the employee. This allows raters (supervisors and management) to easily establish the performance of employees during the semestral performance appraisal period. 

Further, because of the system, the ZAMSURECO-I can now immediately comply with its reportorial mandates with the ERC and NEA on customer complaints because of the system extensive complaints tracking features.  

As a result of its full operations and completion in 2011, the CIMS has greatly improved employees’ productivity; significantly reduced the time of processing electric service applications and connections; facilitated fast action on customer complaints; and enabled easy tracking of customer-related transactions; and reduced operating expenses, among others. 


ZAMSURECO-I’S Introduced the Networking Accounts

To improve customer service in getting feedback and complaints from customers enabling the Cooperative to immediately act on complaints and customers’ requests.


The Coop’s official networking accounts are as follows:


Enhanced The Value Added Services/Features of the Cooperative’s Website (www.zamsureco1.Com)

a.       On-line Power Bill Inquiry

The on-line power bill inquiry is one of the value added feature/service that is being introduced to enhance the ZAMSURECO-I website. The development of this project started in December 2011 and it is on-going.

The initiative is being pursued as part of the strategy to bring the services of the ZAMSURECO-I closer to the people thus, enhancing customer care. This service is an innovative way of bringing the Cooperative’s billing system online, allowing customers to know their power bill without waiting for the ZAMSURECO-I power bill to be delivered. As such, customers are able to prepare ahead for the money they have to pay thus, enabling customers to manage their budget.

Another feature of the service is for customers to be able to access online their bill account history for the past 6 months thereby enabling customers to monitor their electricity consumption/bill thus, encouraging them to implement measures to reduce power consumption.    


b.      On-line Customer Electricity Pre-application Service

This online website service enhancement allows electric service applicants to apply connection online. The features of the service include list of the necessary connection application requirements, fees, among others.

The introduction of this service will minimize stress on the part of the applicants in applying for a service connection as well as significantly reduce application processing time. It also reduces travel costs on the part of applicants in going to and from the ZAMSURECO-I office just for the purpose of inquiring for service connection requirements and filing their application. 


c.       On-line Customer Complaints/Requests Service

This website enhancement service allows customers to file his/her complaint/requests/queries on-line. It enables concerned units/personnel to respond quickly as a result of an effective IT- based quick filing of requests/complaints and task dissemination mechanism. It includes an auto reply system to customer queries and complaints.


Auto Broadcast System on ZAMSURECO-I Advisories

For the past several months, the ZAMSURECO-I has been experiencing and implementing daily mandatory power curtailments brought about by the power supply deficiency problem in Mindanao.

As a result of the daily power curtailments, the ZAMSURECO-I received numerous complaints from its customers, which requires immediate intervention on the part of the Cooperative to establish concrete measures that would enhance its ability to effectively and efficiently disseminate information to customers as regards power curtailment/interruption schedule advisories, including specific areas to be affected.    

The ZAMSURECO-I Auto Broadcast System utilizes existing ICT-network/infrastructure (Globe Telecom) to broadcast power curtailment/interruption advisories/updates to multiple recipients (e.g., LGU officials, MSEACs, big load customers, hospitals, financial institutions, government offices, residential/commercial customers, etc.) through Short-Messaging-System (SMS). It is worthy to note that the implementation of this initiative has been hastened as a result of the extensive customer information database (i.e., customer cell phone numbers) that has been established    by the Cooperative generated from the successful full implementation of the ZAMSURECO-I’s Consumer Information Management System (CIMS).

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